America’s Cup, watch out for Kiwis: Team New Zealand immediately touches 40 knots upwind in new AC 75


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Team New Zealand
Towing tests prior to sail testing. America’s Cup Recon

After the Formula 1-style boat of Alinghi Red Bull Racing, the next AC 75 to hit the water will likely be Ineos Britannia’s, but in the meantime, the first details of the defender’s sail testing are beginning to arrive Team New Zealand, the first team to sail in the new boat, and soon there will also be Luna Rossa.

In fact, the Kiwis from the day of the launch immediately hoisted the sails, after the usual tests of the towing navigation systems, thus showing the first performance of the new boat. The foils used, however, were those of the older generation, yet interesting details are already emerging from the first reports produced by the America’s Cup spy team.

Team New Zealand – How the new AC 75 sails.

Viewed from the bow, the hollow shapes of the boat are very noticeable, creating an air cushion between boat and hull with speed. America’s Cup Recon

The crew of the New Zealanders seems fairly written, with Peter Burning and Nathan Outteridge at the helm, Blair Tuke and Andy Maloney the trimmers, and the riders most often being Hamish Bond, Louis Sinclair, Marius Van Der Pol, Simon Van Veltooven.

Team New Zealand AC75
America’s Cup Recon
Day 3

Team New Zealand’s AC 75 in official spy reports is described as. Able to rise into the air from the first attempt, simplicity that is reported even with 7 knots of wind, i.e., below the minimum regattaable limit for these boats, with tacking and gybing on the foils performed immediately without difficulty. A sign that all onboard systems for controlling foils and rigging are working and the boat has no critical issues, which is not obvious for such complex objects.

. Team New Zealand since its first outings has often shown that it can fly very low over the water. America’s Cup Recon

What is even more interesting is the report of the second day of training, which took place in 12- to 17-knot winds. Day when the Kiwis also sailed the J4, one of the smaller wind jibs. The surprising fact is what the spies reported: upwind in 15 knots of wind, the spy raft had to hold at least 38 knots of full speed to avoid being quickly detached from the boat.

It means that Team New Zealand already approached the 40-knot upwind wall on the second day of training, already equaling the highest performance recorded at the end of the last Cup by the AC 75. That this would happen is predictable; that the Kiwis would have a similar pace as early as their second outing (which is actually their first since they sailed just 20 minutes in Day 1), somewhat more surprising.

Considering that the real appendages will be used only in the future, and that the boat is still to be developed, we can already expect that
the 3 percent increase in performance that we assumed in our in-depth study
, could be hit without any problem, according to this early data. With an upwind speed that could break through the 40-knot wall, downwind over 50 comfortably. Will this be the case for all AC 75s? We will soon find out.

Mauro Giuffrè



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